This coin is a Spanish mainland mint (Granada) 4 reales cob that was found Long Beach Island, NJ, Little Egg Inlet Sandbar on 10/18/2021, which is adjacent to where the wreck of the British merchantman "Betsy" is located. The coin was recovered by a detectorist friend of mine who has found a handful (4) spanish cobs from this beach, as well as a few other period coins. It comes with a flip insert documenting when and where the coin was recovered, as well as the name of the wreck, as well as a photocopy of an old map of the area.
Very rare provenance from a very obscure and unknown wreck, with an interesting American connection. He gave orders to lower the sails, drop anchor, and wait out the storm. Barely recognizing the low, linear shape of Long Island on the western horizon, he steered toward it, hoping for refuge in the sound between it and the mainland. As the skies darkened and the winds increased, the Betsy held a course straight for the old Beach Haven Inlet. Only six of the crew managed to swim to safety.
The task proved to be more difficult than anticipated. No one ever positively identified the wreck, but more detrimental to a successful recovery operation was the tidal movement in this part of the Atlantic.
Strong tides have always surged into and out of this area rapidly, generating dangerous, swirling currents. The churning waters carry such a heavy load of sand that visibility for the most part is extremely limited. Due to the strong tidal surges, experts maintain that less than one hour a day would be available for an actual recovery.
Since the Betsy went down in 1778, at least fifty formal attempts have been made to locate it, all unsuccessful. But evidence of the offshore wreck's existence and its treasure, however, is abundant. Since the Betsy sank, the hull, decks, and masts have experienced considerable rotting. It is also probable that the wooden chests carrying the fortune in silver coins have also succumbed to the weathering process, freeing the contents to spill into the ocean's sands. During the past fifty years, hundreds of coins have been recovered, leading researchers to believe that the wreck of the Betsy is located only a short distance offshore.It is possible that a longtime Long Island resident has finally discovered the remains of the Betsy. The man, who desires anonymity, is a diver with a long record of success in retrieving artifacts from sunken wrecks. Though he claims to have identified the Betsy from ballast stones and mast stumps near the old inlet, he refuses to respond to direct questions about the silver coins.
The notion that this wealth is there for the taking appeals to many possessing a spirit of adventure. The treasure of the Betsy, worth several million dollars today, continues to lure and confound.